TripAdvisor just shook up its business in a way that it hasn’t done for years. After introducing hotel metasearch on smartphones during the fourth quarter, the company said today it will introduce hotel metasearch across tablets and desktops, and complete the project within six months.
Priceline, which is in the process of acquiring Kayak, and Expedia, which is taking a majority stake in Germany’s Trivago, will undoubtedly take note and weigh the repercussions.
Known primarily for its hotel reviews and cost-per-click advertising from hotels and online travel agencies, TripAdvisor, with the introduction of hotel metasearch, likely will send fewer CPC leads to advertisers because the comparison-shopping will take place on TripAdvisor, CEO Stephen Kaufer acknowledged
However, the economics should balance out and be “revenue neutral” because TripAdvisor will be sending companies participating in metasearch more qualified leads, with resulting higher conversion rates, Kaufer added.
Speaking during TripAdvisor’s fourth quarter conference call late today, Kaufer said most of TripAdvisor’s hotel metasearch revenue will be CPC-based, but there will be some revenue-sharing with clients when it’s appropriate for both parties.
He claimed TripAdvisor’s clients are on board with the metasearch push, although it will take time for them to adjust to the new business model, which includes property-level minimum-bidding functionality.
Ironically, Priceline and Expedia, both with pending metasearch initiatives, are major TripAdvisor customers.
Kaufer acknowledged that the idea of direct-booking on TripAdvisor, as opposed to sending leads to third-party sites for booking, has been discussed for years. Read more.
Published In: http://ehotelier.com By: Dennis Schaal